Conservatives have vowed to defy the Supreme Court if it rules in favor of gay marriage


An anxious mood has surrounded the Supreme Court in recent weeks with many high profile cases set to be decided on very soon. One case includes Affirmative Action and the Voting Rights Act, and another set of high profile cases have to do with the issue of gay marriage, specifically laws like The Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8.

On these specific gay marriage cases, conservative views have become disturbing, yet not unexpected. It appears that the American right-wing is getting ready for a fight on gay marriage should the Supreme Court rule in the others favor. Many conservative “pro-family” groups are gearing up and are basically saying that they won’t give up the issue without a confrontation.

Think Progress posted an article about this subject, and the author Josh Israel lays out who the main arbiters of the gay marriage fight are. Men like Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Louis Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition, and others such as Ken Blackwell, Gary Bauer, and Ralph Reed are all calling for the Supreme Court of the United States to preserve what they see as the “moral authority” of the court and not rule in favor of gay marriage.

scotus1What these men and groups are saying basically is that they will preemptively oppose the Supreme Court if it rules against DOMA and in favor of gay marriage. It’s not simply them arguing legal points. They are basically advocating defying the ruling of the court if the ruling is not in their ideological favor. What is interesting and disturbing about this premise is that it is not all that dissimilar to conservative reactions a few decades ago when it came to the Brown V. Board of Education ruling.

In 1954 the Supreme Court nearly unanimously ruled that schools funded with tax-payer dollars could not segregate its students and staff based on race. After the Supreme Court ruled on the decision, it managed to affect little in terms of desegregating schools. By most accounts the school systems of the south and elsewhere were not fully desegregated until the 1970’s and in some places the early 1980’s.

The reason being was the conservative anti-civil rights element of our society reacting in full force against civil rights, defying all court decisions and federal laws that challenged racism at the time. In fact, conservative racists reacted often violently to desegregation. The ripple effects of this type of ideological obstructionism in many ways led to years of delay in the implementation of civil rights laws.

Now its far-fetched to say violence would break out in full force if the SCOTUS ruled in favor of gay marriage. The attitude is what unnerves me. Much like in the civil rights period, conservatives seem to believe that they have a legitimate right to resist a Supreme Court ruling’s legality based on their own personal belief system.

We have to understand that allowing gay people to marry does not trample on anyone’s personal life or liberty. It’s one thing to say you will defy a law that allows the government to spy on you, its another to say you are defying a law that allows people to get married. There are clear lines of separation when it comes to discussing one’s real constitutional liberty and just someone’s personal belief about morality.

What we need to be careful about here is the fact that the Supreme Court has not even reached a decision yet. In spite of this, the right-wing opponents to gay marriage are lining up to attack any prospect of a successful court ruling on the matter. Much like in the past, conservative groups seem to be willing to do whatever they wish to oppose a victory for LGBT rights. As the court approaches its decisions, we should anticipate an interesting reaction from conservatives if DOMA is struck down. Who know what will happen if a sweeping ruling on gay marriage is reached.



  1. Gotta love it, right? They’re like toddlers who stomp their feet when they don’t get their way. They refuse to their last dying breath to live in a democracy if it doesn’t go the way they want it. The very definition of conservative is one who is averse to change and holds to traditional values and attitudes. Rigid and authoritarian ideology. So, @Sean, don’t confuse reactionary with “adapting to changing circumstances”, unless I misunderstood what you meant. These people are not adapting to any social changes; they are reacting, oftentimes in violent ways. Every good and progressive social change in this country has been brought by the more progressive of our citizens, and were fought tooth and nail along the way by rigid thinking conservatives. They detest any change. They fear it and find it threatening.

    The most hilarious part is how they purport to embrace the constitution, then spit on it when it isn’t interpreted to their liking.

  2. Why do commentators continue to identify the anti-gay marriage folks as “conservatives?” Since the French Revolution, Conservatives have demonstrated through time an innate ability to adapt to changing circumstances in order to maintain power & privilege–sometimes succesful other times not.

    The anti-marriage folks may be many things (or not)but to label them “conservative” historicizes peoples and groups that are actually more closely aligned with reactionary trends.

    Perhaps a simple “bigoted, dangerous and out of touch” modifier hits the target more closely.

    • It’s not me who calls them conservative. They call themselves that. I can’t help what the anti-gay marriage crowd associates themselves as. Most reactionaries tend to be conservatives actively resisting change for whatever reason. Liberals can be reactionaries of sorts too sometimes, yet liberals and progressives are generally more ok with inclusive social changes while conservatives usually despise such changes.

  3. Hey, what the Hell. Let’s have a secular Church State just like the rest of the globe. Then we can re-institute the Crusades. We all know what a party that was. I could definitely see the Pope in the Oval Office.

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